He’s one of football’s biggest mysteries.
Say the name Florian Thauvin to Premier League fans and you will largely be met with looks of bemusement.
When you tell them he’s the clown who once wore a tuxedo to a match they’ll suddenly know who you’re talking about.
It’s his smartly-dressed antics for which his stint in England is best remembered for.
It should have been so different.
The world of football was astonished to see the former wonderkid rock-up at Newcastle in 2015.
He was part of the French revolution at St James’ Park and they managed to snap up the Marseille man for a cool £15million.
How much would he be worth now?
Thauvin’s move to Newcastle caused a seismic shock at the time. His form in Ligue 1 had attracted interest from Europe’s big boys.
The Frenchman was quickly becoming football’s most-coveted wonderkid, with Arsenal and Man United particularly keen on the attacking midfielder.
It was Steve McClaren who sealed the deal ahead of Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal. Iconic stuff.
His spell in England’s top flight was far from a memorable one.
Just 22-years-old at the time, Thauvin looked unable to cope with the demands of Premier League football.
The tuxedo-wearing joker made just 13 appearances in the league, failing to ever play a full 90 minutes.
Thauvin didn’t register a single Premier League goal or assist during his spell with Newcastle and was consequently shipped back to Marseille in 2016 on loan.
The higher-powers at St James’ made the questionable decision to give the French club the option to buy him back for just £10million. Regrets.
15 goals and nine assists in 38 Ligue 1 games were more than enough to convince Marseille to make the move permanent.
Thauvin continued his road to redemption the following season.
The Frenchman’s stats improved further, racking up 22 goals and 12 assists in 35 league games. He’s fully exorcising his Newcastle demons.
The 25-year-old was rewarded with a call-up to France’s World Cup squad where he made just one appearance in Didier Deschamps tournament winning side.
Thauvin’s stellar-form doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon.
He’s already scored seven goals and provided three assists in ten Ligue 1 games and is subsequently attracting interest.
Bayern Munich could well be his next destination, with rumours of a £70million move to the Bundesliga rife.
The German champions are said to have identified Thauvin as the long-term successor to Franck Ribery.
The interest from Bayern makes his Premier League plight even more baffling.
How can you fail to dislodge Gabriel Obertan and then go onto replace Ribery?
The jury is still out on how he would cope away from Ligue 1, however, his form in the past few seasons has been remarkable.
Thauvin fully deserves another chance of reaching the top and, as such, pile further regret on Newcastle.
Thanks for the memories, Florian…
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